I love this book.
I first read it soon after it was released with a group of pastors from my church. Since my first read-through, I have read it twice more – now I’m on my fourth read. Did I mention that I love this book?
In this writing by Andy Stanley, he dives deep into the inner workings and philosophy of the church he founded, North Point Community Church of Atlanta. He covers spiritual formation, creating an enviroment that welcomes the unchurched, and how to begin the transition from where your church is to where it needs to be.
Bottom line: This book is a must read for anyone in ministry.
On the church:
“In the beginning, the church was a gloriously messy movement with a laser-focused message and a global mission. It was led by men and women who were fueled not by what they believed, but by what they had seen. That simple fact sets the church apart from every other religious movement in the history of the world. After all, it wasn’t the teaching of Jesus that sent his followers to the streets. It was his resurrection. The men and women who made up the nucleus of the church weren’t simply believers in an abstract philosophy or even faithful followers of a great leader; they were eyewitnesses of an event.”
On teahcing and communication:
“Jesus was not content to simply say what was true. Being right was not enough. Being biblical was not enough. Being exegetically correct was not enough. That was not his purpose in coming. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. And he communicated to that end.”
On the role of church leaders:
“Here’s what I know about you. You did not surrender to God’s call on your life to perpetuate a specific model, style, or approach to preaching. You didn’t say yes to God in order to perpetuate an approach to anything. You said yes in the hopes that God would use you to impact your generation. And if that makes your heart beat a little bit harder, then allow me to push you a bit. If you’ve been called to reach this generation of unchurched people, then you must adopt an approach to ministry, and communication in particular, that advances that calling. You don’t have the luxury of babysitting the previous generation’s approach to doing church. There’s no time for that. Besides, you’ve only got one life to give to invest in this glorious cause. So invest it well.”